Amash Attacked for ‘In God We Trust’ Vote

Rep. Justin Amash, who is my representative in Congress, is an interesting guy. He’s a Tea Party-type when it comes to budget issues, but is libertarian-minded when it comes to a lot of military, foreign policy and other issues. Sometimes I want to strangle him, sometimes I want to hug him. He’s facing a Republican primary challenge from a guy named Brian Ellis, who is attacking him for voting no on an absurd “In God We Trust” resolution sponsored by the loathsome Randy Forbes.

In a press release sent out on Thursday, Brian Ellis linked Amash’s 2011 vote to the atheist movement.

“‘In God We Trust’ was first placed on U.S. coins by Congress in 1864 and officially became our national motto in 1956,” he said. “Through lawsuits, atheists have attempted to impose their will and remove the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ from our currency. They have been unsuccessful so far, but to make clear America’s commitment to our heritage and faith in God, the U.S. House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, voted 396-9 to reaffirm ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto and support the display on public buildings. Amazingly, Congressman Justin Amash voted ‘no.’”

“From President Washington’s Inaugural address to President Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer to President Bush’s speech after the 9/11 attacks, America has rightly placed her trust in the Almighty. Justin Amash was clearly not representing the people of the 3rd District when he voted against reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto,” Ellis added.

Pure demagoguery, seeking to exploit a meaningless bit of symbolism that gets the rubes all fired up and weepy-eyed. Amash’s explanation of why he voted against the bill, on the other hand, is logical and correct:

“The fear that unless ‘In God We Trust’ is displayed throughout the government, Americans will somehow lose their faith in God, is a dim view of the profound religious convictions many citizens have,” he said. “The faith that inspired many of the Founders of this country — the faith I practice — is stronger than that. Trying to score political points with unnecessary resolutions should not be Congress’s priority. I voted no.”

As he should have.

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  • John Pieret

    But … but … he didn’t paint himself blue like the rest of us.

  • John Pieret

    Incidently, how did he vote on those 40+ attempts to score political points with unnecessary votes to repeal the ACA?

  • ttch

    Rep. Amash might respond:

    I worship the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus, not the empty ritualistic god of “ceremonial deism” now mentioned in our nation’s motto and on our money. That god does not belong anywhere. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” sayeth the Lord.

    Remember this when theocrats tell you you’re worshiping their god when you use U.S. currency. If that’s the case, they’re the ones breaking their god’s commandments. The god on the money is explicitly not the God of the Bible.

  • Artor

    396-9? Really? That’s disgraceful.

  • John Pieret

    ttch @ 3:

    I worship the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus, not the empty ritualistic god of “ceremonial deism”

    I think that is a nice point (though I doubt it will have any effect on the rabid religious right): ‘a vote for ceremonial deism is a vote against the Christian, Jewish and [cough] Islamic god.’

    The rabid religious right will, nonetheless, interpret “god” as their version and ignore the legal justification for such empty phrases.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I wonder how a resolution by Congress renouncing “ceremonial deism” in favor of “standing for God and Jesus” would fare? Who would dare vote against it?

  • typecaster

    More importantly, was Amash one of the eighty signatories to the Suicide Letter just prior to the debt ceiling madness last year? My representative was.

  • conway

    If you’re going to invoke D-Day and 9/11 in a discussion of “In God We Trust” you make me wonder just what is it we trust God to do? It certainly isn’t to protect us from sneak attacks.

    Keep us out of wars? Nope.

    Protect us from natural disasters? Nope.

    Keep our children out of poverty? Nope.

    Protect them from predatory clergy? Nope.

    Make sure our leaders are not corrupt? Nope.

    Make sure our economy is always strong? Nope.

    Keep church roofs from falling on worshipers? That one little thing? Nope. Not even that.

    In God We trust? Why? To do what?

  • cry4turtles

    Ed wrote “Amash”, I read “Amish”. Better get back to the eye Doc. soon.

  • tommykey

    How come with wingnuts it’s always atheists, gays or feminists trying to “impose” their will without acknowledging that wingnuts are forever trying to impose their will?

  • robinjohnson

    Conway: we trust him to send us to heaven after we die, so none of that stuff is relevant. It’s basically an excuse to stay in your place and not do anything to improve the world.

    John Pieret: doesn’t ‘deism’ imply a non-intervening god, whom there’s no point in trusting?